The God Wars
Battle of the Trenches
By Dwayne MacInnes
General Crist watched through his field glasses as Ares marched his army through the air attack, the artillery barrage, and even the minefield. The carnage was astronomical, yet the army continued forward. Whenever someone tried to desert, Ares on his blazing black horse was on top of the poor victim. With a swoop of his red sword, the deserter's head would fly through the air.
Now Ares's army was approaching the trenches. The artillery and the mortar teams started to fire into the oncoming horde. The air screamed with the cry of the incoming shells. The ground shook as the earth exploded in a geyser of dirt and smoke when the shells landed, tearing great holes in the ranks of men now rushing the trenches.
The blackened bronze armor did little to protect the army as it struggled through the rain of steel exploding around them. Men and horses cried out in fear and pain. Nonetheless, they came relentlessly onward.
Sergeant Rogers would have appreciated the bravery of his foe if he did not happen to be their target. When the attackers were within range, he put a whistle to his mouth and blew as loud as he could. Other officers and noncoms followed suit down the trench line. Every gun in the trench opened up adding their destruction and mayhem into the onrushing army. The M2 and M1919 machineguns fired off endless rounds into the mass of humanity charging them cutting men down like a scythe in a field.
The infantrymen's M1 Garand and the occasional Browning automatic rifle spat lead knocking down many a foe. The mercenaries and brigands still ran towards the line even though men were falling all around them. The initial pathetic few who made it to the trenches ended up getting themselves entangled in the barbed wire.
However, the men behind them were able to cross the wired obstacle over their dead comrade's bodies allowing them to enter the trenches. Soon, the fighting was going on all around. Men were shooting, stabbing, and grappling with each other.
General Crist watched closely, he had to marshal his precious resources closely. Yet, he still had to be able to repel the opposing forces. So far, his men were holding the trenches.
Ares' bloodlust was now at its peak. He yelled and screamed in ecstasy urging his men forward. The chariots rushed forward as did the cavalry. Ares raised his sword over his head and kicked his black fire-snorting mount forward. The unholy beast was fleet of hoof and outran all other steeds.
With explosions randomly kicking up dirt around him, Ares charged over the no-man's-land. Other riders were falling off their steeds or out of their shredded chariots. Horses pitched forward throwing their riders over their heads. The ground was becoming impossible to cross. It was because of the dead and dying, ragged smoke-filled holes created by the exploding shells, and broken chariots littered everywhere.
Blood ran freely turning the dry earth into a gory mud. Depressions and holes filled up to form red pools. Whole rivers of blood ran downhill to create blood-filled lakes.
When Ares joined the ranks of his men, the horde gave out an encouraging cry. Though they were starving, tired, and scared, they took heart on seeing Ares moving to the front. The war god's presence inspired the men to give one final and desperate push to take the line.
Ares searched for the optimal place for him to attack the enemy. He wanted the pleasure of laying his enemy down in piles like their ungodly weapons was doing to his army. The black steed reared up preparing to charge when an explosion tore its rear legs off. Thrown backwards into the blood-soaked earth, Ares landed on his backside, his dead mount on top of him.
The war god now maddened beyond belief, kicked his dead horse off his body. He jumped to his feet and charged the trenches himself. He cut through the barbed wire with his sword severing it as a sharp knife would a thread. Bullets ripped into his armor stinging his godly hide. He paid the pain little attention; his mind was in a berserker state. The god in a wrath called on his powers and grew in size to about twenty feet.
He swung his sword cutting great swathes into the defenders. Men flew in parts or whole through the air with each swing of his mighty blade.
The opposition was now flooding into the trenches. Crist knew his men could not withstand such a surge for long. He was about to call in his reserves when he saw a militia woman throw her farmers into the fray. The peasant army filled the already crowded trenches adding their strength to the infantrymen.
Hand-to-hand fighting and close quarter combat ensued. The Americans swung their rifles like clubs when they expended their ammunition. Bayonets either in hand or at the end of a rifle sparred with spear and short sword. Grenades would tear holes into groups of attackers.
Yet through this entire episode, Ares reveled. The war god was in his element. Ares covered from head to toe in gore, laughed and delighted in the carnage around him.
General Crist finally ordered in the reserves. He only hoped that he had not waited too long. The peasant militia may have bought him the time he needed for the reserves to turn the tide. He specifically wanted Ares removed from the picture.
PFC Daniels loaded his Garand one last time. He was down to his last clip of ammunition and the fighting around him was fierce. The sergeant was firing away with his Tommy gun mowing down men around him. Although it would not be long before he too was out of ammunition.
Daniels watched in horror as a group of black armored attackers overwhelmed Rogers. The sergeant fell backwards under the press of men. The Tommy gun fell ominously quiet.
Without thinking, PFC Daniels emptied his M1 into the horde. Many of them fell stricken, the others turned to see the new threat. Daniels threw himself into the men armed only with his bayonet. This battle was going to be one-sided, yet the private did not bother to think about it.
In a rage, Daniels slashed and thrust at the enemy. His pure ferocity forced the men to give ground. Suddenly, a woman came up next to Daniels and started to attack the men. She easily parried and counter-attacked the men's attacks. Within a minute, the remaining men were on the ground either dead or dying.
Daniels located sergeant Rogers, he had a stab wound to his left shoulder but otherwise appeared okay. The private helped Rogers to his feet and then escorted him to the redoubt.
The trench was rapidly filling with Ares' horde. Daniels started calling his men back towards the redoubt. Those, who were able, climbed inside. Daniels watched as the lone militia woman continued to hold the attackers back while the men climbed into the trench's fortification.
When the last man climbed inside Daniels called out to the woman. At first, she did not respond. He was using English and the peasant woman did not speak it. So he cried out in Minoan and the woman looked over her shoulder to see the private waving her to the redoubt.
The woman retreated to the redoubt and when they were all inside Daniels secured the door. The horde of attackers started to beat on the door of the little fortress when suddenly the muzzle of the M2 protruded out of an embrasure. The machinegun spat fire and steel into the crowd. Soon that part of the trench works was empty of any standing men. Those on the ground were either dying in deep pools of blood or already dead.